Reflecting To Look Ahead: Lifelong Lessons from Working in a Women-Led Environment

Updated: Jan 7, 2020

By Brooke Blevins, IWL Intern and Butler University Student

When I began my internship with IWL back in May, I had no idea that I would stay here for an extra four months through the first semester of my junior year. However, when the offer was presented it seemed like something I could not turn down. As I move forward in my academic career, graduation is rapidly approaching whether I want to admit it or not. While the idea of leaving the comfort of the Butler University “bubble” frightens me, my experience at IWL has given me the confidence to also let the thought of the future excite me.

Since I was in high school, I have found myself to be a leader and an activist for various causes within numerous organizations. I was constantly focused on how to better my community with volunteering and philanthropic efforts by educating myself. I have known for a long time that I wanted to enter into the world of non-profit organizations, but I never really knew what that would look like on the professional side rather than the volunteer side.

Joining the small IWL team has taught me that the basic concept of equality has to be the starting point for any justice to truly take place.

I have seen the power of allyship and now understand that regardless of the social justice issue, those seeking justice will never be successful without the help of others. I have learned that dedicating your time empowering others can be just as impactful as spending that time volunteering.

Being a part of the 10th IWL conference in Indianapolis exposed me to incredible female and male leaders who are paving the way for a better future.

Over the past 8 months my eyes have been opened to what the future could look like with the help of organizations like IWL. I have been able to see what it’s like to be surrounded by a team of strong, independent women who are determined to make change. I have met male allies who support the advancement of women and recognize the gender equality issues that we are facing.

Working for an organization run by women, for women has been an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life as I look for future employers and organizations to support.

I want to thank Anna for assuring me that post-Butler life is something to look forward to and that the connections I make during these four years will last. Thank you for having the confidence in me to take on new projects and trusting my abilities. You have been such an incredible role model to learn from and I cannot wait to see all the amazing things that you do in the future.

Kim, thank you for the professional advice and countless connections that I will take with me throughout the rest of my career. Jeanette, I appreciate your humor, wisdom, and “go with the flow” attitude. You have made me feel like such an important part of this team and validated my work time and time again.

I say good-bye to my time at IWL with a heavy heart, but so much hope and excitement for the future of this organization. I feel beyond lucky to have been even a small part of educating the next generation of feminists, advocates, and allies.

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